United We Stand Divided We Fall - A Look Back at March 2020
Reflecting on my thoughts from the first week of shelter in place written on March 23rd when I wrote this post. I fear that we are now repeating the same mistakes as we head into relaxed quarantine. I pray I am wrong and are far from where I was a month ago.
The last week hit us with something many of us thought we would never have to endure again - a global event that upset our routines, lives, families, belief systems. September 11 brought this country to its knees and in the immediate aftermath we came together, held hands and lifted up our brothers and sisters as we started the terrible process of trying to comprehend what had happened and began to grieve.
With the equally - if not more - devastating COVID breakout, we cannot join together as we once had, which has forced us to learn new ways of comforting ourselves and others as we start to process a new round of grief. While we do not know what the future holds - better or worse - we are all already facing incomprehensible losses that we are just starting to grieve. Loved ones, security, freedom, health, jobs, businesses, money. And with this unprecedented unknown we also the recipient of an added layer of stress of fearing for our futures. Hard to believe we got here so fast but here we are.
Right now we must do what is asked of us - minimize risk, eliminate exposure, help out those in need. Stay home. Reach out to someone who is at risk and offer to do their grocery shopping. Check in with friends and family. Foster a pet. And most importantly, donate your N-95 mask to someone who is burning candles at both ends trying to save people. You may not end up in the hospital for coronavirus but chances are you will eventually for something else and you will want the full and undivided attention of a not exhausted, well equipped medical team. Sure, you may avoid the hospital now, but the impacts on the medical profession will outlast the outbreak without a doubt.
Those who think this is no big deal because they are not sick are in for a rude awakening when the dust settles and they realize that we will never return to normal. We may get back a lot of the status quo we had and some things may change for the better; either way things will never be the same. The longer we are stuck in limbo, the greater the disconnect between then and now will be.
Character is not defined in times of prosperity; it is in times adversity we embrace and show the world either the best of ourselves or the worst of ourselves. As one of my favorite sayings goes "We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our our hand, and melting like a snowflake". Time has never been more precious than it is now. Ever.